Chocolate Fudge Custard Cake

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caa 29/06/2017

I would love to provide a picture of the cake as a whole with its silky, chocolate custard covering but once I removed it from the fridge to serve, it didn’t last two seconds before everyone crowded round for a slice! I made this for my little brother’s birthday. He is a massive chocolate fan and this cake certainly delivers in that respect.

Ingredients:

For the chocolate sponges:

  • 150ml vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 200g plain flour
  • 70g cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 200g light brown soft sugar
  • 200ml buttermilk
  • 100ml strong coffee
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs

For the chocolate custard:

  • 250g golden caster sugar
  • 500ml full-fat milk
  • 140g chocolate, 85% cocoa solids, broken into cubes
  • 50g cornflour
  • 2 tsp espresso powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Make the custard first as it needs to chill. Put all the ingredients, except the vanilla, in a large pan and bring gently to the boil, whisking all the time, until the chocolate has melted and you have a silky, thick custard. It will take 5-7 minutes from cold. Stir in the vanilla and a generous pinch of salt then scrape the custard into a wide, shallow bowl. Cover the surface with cling film, cool then chill for at least 3 hrs or until cold and set.
  2. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan. Grease and line two 20cm cake tins with baking parchment – if your cake tins are quite shallow, line the sides to a depth of at least 5cm. Put flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, light brown soft sugar and 1 tsp salt in a bowl and mix well. If there are any lumps in the sugar, squeeze these through your fingers to break them up.
  3. Measure the buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla in a jug. Add the eggs and whisk until smooth. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk until well combined. Pour the cake mixture evenly into the two tins, and bake for 25-30 mins until risen and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in the tins for 10 mins, then turn out onto a wire rack, peel off the baking parchment and leave to cool.
  4. To assemble, cover one of the cake layers with a generous helping of the custard. Add the second layer to the top of this and spoon the remaining custard on top of the cake then spread it around the top and down the sides until smooth. Chill for 15 minutes to firm up the custard again.

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Chill for 2 hours, or longer if possible, before serving, and eat it cold. This cake can be made up to 2 days ahead. The cake gets fudgier and more enticing the longer you leave it. The coffee in the recipe cannot be tasted but really brings out the intense cocoa flavours in the custard and the sponge and the addition of a small pinch of salt in the custard really intensifies the chocolate even further.

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Salted Dark Chocolate Fudge

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IMG_20150914_184819[1] 14/09/2015

Do you like the combination of sweet and salty? Then you will love this Salted Dark Chocolate Fudge. And it is super easy to make.

I love having little sweet treats to hand for when you want that little something special that you can keep as a pick me up at the end of a tough day or just to enjoy with friends and this recipe is perfect for providing little chunks of chocolate loveliness that do just that.

Makes 64 1″ fudge pieces.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 450g dark chocolate
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • salt flakes for sprinkling

Instructions:

  1. Line an 8×8-inch baking dish with grease-proof or foil that overhangs on all sides (for lifting out later).
  2. Chop dark chocolate into small pieces. Stir sweetened condensed milk and salt together in a bowl. Add chocolate pieces and butter.
  3. Place the bowl on top of a double boiler and cook for about 8-10 minutes. Stir occasionally until the mixture is melted and smooth and has thickened.
  4. Pour melted mixture into lined pan. Sprinkle with salt flakes. Let the fudge set in the fridge for at least 2 hours, then cut into 1” pieces.

Coconut Toffee Chew Bars

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IMG_20150703_155754[1] 03/07/2015

With a crisp buttery base and a squidgy, sweet coconut topping, these chewy bars are so easy to make but taste heavenly.

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plain flour

Topping:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups desiccated coconut

Instructions:

  1. Beat the butter, sugar and salt for the crust together. Add the flour and mix to combine.
    Sprinkle the dough into the bottom of a foil lined and greased 9×13″ tin and press down evenly. Bake at 170C for 15 minutes.
  2. Whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla together. Add the flour, baking powder and salt, whisk to combine. Stir in the coconut. Spread the mixture evenly over the crust. Bake until lightly browned around the edges, about 20 minutes.
  3. Let cool completely in the tin before cutting into bars. Store in an airtight container.

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Brooklyn Blackout Cake

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IMG_20150412_042151[1] 15/04/2015

During the blackouts of the Second World War, Ebinger Baking Company in the New York City borough of Brooklyn developed its Blackout cake. This cake was extremely popular in Ebinger bakery and many other bakeries across New York. Unfortunately the bakery closed due to bankruptcy but lucky for you, this fantastic recipe for smooth, velvetty chocolate fudgy, custard cake lives on!

This rich, dark sponge is filled and coated with a thick chocolate custard, then finished with crumbled cake. It is best eaten chilled from the fridge so the custard stays set. In my opinion, this cake improves with keeping. A real must try for chocolate lovers and custard lovers alike.

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 140g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 100ml vegetable oil
  • 140g buttermilk
  • 100ml coffee, made with 1 tsp espresso powder
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250g light muscovado sugar
  • 250g plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 50g cocoa powder

For the custard filling and covering:

  • 250g golden caster sugar
  • 500ml full-fat milk
  • 140g chocolate, 85% cocoa solids, broken into cubes
  • 50g cornflour
  • 2 tsp espresso powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

1. Make the custard first as it needs to chill. Put all the ingredients, except the vanilla, in a large pan and bring gently to the boil, whisking all the time, until the chocolate has melted and you have a silky, thick custard. It will take 5-7 minutes from cold. Stir in the vanilla and a generous pinch of salt then scrape the custard into a wide, shallow bowl. Cover the surface with cling film, cool then chill for at least 3 hrs or until cold and set.

2. Heat oven to 180C. Grease then line the bases of 2 x 20cm sandwich tins. Melt the butter in a pan, then remove from the heat and beat in the oil, buttermilk, coffee and eggs. In a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together plus ¼ tsp salt and squish any resistant lumps of sugar with your fingers. Tip in the wet ingredients and whisk until smooth.

IMG_20150412_042016[1] IMG_20150412_042102[1]

3. Divide the batter between the prepared tins and bake for 25 minutes or until risen and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cakes comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes then transfer to a rack to cool completely, parchment-side down.

4. Remove the parchment linings from the cakes. If the cakes are domed, trim them flat. Now cut each cake across the middle using a large serrated knife. Put your least successful layer and any trimmings into a processor and pulse it to crumbs. Tip into a large bowl.

5. Sit one layer on a cake plate and spread it with a quarter of the custard. Sandwich the next layer on top, add another quarter of the custard then top with the final layer of cake. Spoon the remaining custard on top of the cake, then spread it around the top and down the sides until smooth. Chill for 15 minutes to firm up the custard again.

6. Hold the cake over the bowl containing the crumbs, then sprinkle and gently press a layer of crumbs all over the cake. Brush any excess from the plate. You’ll have some crumbs left. Chill for 2 hrs, or longer, before serving, and eat it cold. Can be made up to 2 days ahead. The cake gets fudgier and more enticing the longer you leave it. The coffee in the recipe cannot be tasted but really brings out the intense cocoa flavours in the custard and the sponge and the addition of a small pinch of salt in the custard really intensifies the chocolate even further.

IMG_20150413_222458[1] IMG_20150415_073700[1]

Coffee Fudge

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IMG_20140829_090908[1] 11/09/2014

I store my fudge in a margarine tub in the fridge and it keeps for as long as I can resist the temptation to disgrace myself, eat too much and bounce around with a sugar high. The margarine tub is partly because of my lack of Tupperware and partly as a clever disguise – my precious!

This is a basic recipe and method for fudge with demerara sugar to work with the coffee flavour. You can use coffee granules instead of powder but there will be little flecks in your final results which I actually think looks very pretty.

Ingredients:

  • 397g tin condensed milk
  • 150ml milk
  • 115g unsalted butter
  • 450g Demerara sugar
  • 2 ½ tablespoons espresso powder
  • Chocolate coffee beans, to decorate

Method:

  1. Line and lightly grease a 20cm x 20cm square pan with foil.
  2. In a large saucepan on a medium heat, heat the condensed milk, milk, butter and sugar, stirring regularly, until the sugar has melted.
  3. Turn up the heat, bring to the boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirringcontinuously, until a small amount of mixture dropped into a glass of cold water forms a tiny ball of, you guessed it, fudge. This is known as the soft ball stage. If you have a sugar thermometer, stop when the temperature reaches 116C.  Transfer the mixture to a bowl, add the espresso powder and beat for about 10 minutes, until the caramel-y glossiness has gone and you have a thick and soft consistency.
  4. Scoop into your lined pan, spread into the corners, pat down to even the surface then leave to cool at room temperature and refrigerate until firm.
  5. Cut into squares, pop a chocolate coffee bean on each and serve with a hot cup of coffee.

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Tip: You must keep stirring otherwise the fudge will stick to the bottom of your pan and you will have burnt bitter fudge!

This recipe gave me enough for 36 big chunky pieces but you could cut them into more petite, pretty sizes and wrap them up as gifts as well. I would have done this if I didn’t eat all the chocolate coffee beans first.

Peanut Butter Fudge

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IMG_20140829_090837[1] 09/09/2014

I cannot be held responsible for any impending diabetes that may come about if you try this. I am merely sharing a recipe for what could be described as a legal high.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup chunky peanut butter
  • 7 oz jar marshmallow fluff
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Combine sugar, butter, and evaporated milk in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Continue boiling over medium heat for roughly 5 minutes until a sugar thermometer reads 116C, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Remove from heat. Add the peanut butter, stirring until melted. Add the marshmallow fluff and vanilla. Beat until well blended.
  2. Spread in a greased foil-lined 9 x 13 inch pan. Cool at room temperature, then refrigerate. Cut into squares when firm.

IMG_20140829_090758[1] This recipe is seriously easy and if stored in an airtight container in the fridge, will last for weeks (depending on your will power). I recommend using a sugar thermometer to heat the fudge to just the right temperature (the oft ball stage) as this is what gives it a brilliantly creamy and fudgy (believe it or not) texture but if you don’t have one then don’t go buying expensive equipment just for one recipe. You can just boil the mix of sugar, butter and milk in the pan for at least 5 minutes until the sugar has dissolved and it is bubbling quite a bit. Then continue to add the rest of the ingredients as stated. Remember to keep stirring the whole time or the sugar will burn.